The year in review: Top Mumbos of 2017

It’s been another year of glorious misfires and odd moments in the media and marketing industries. As ever Dr Mumbo was there to cast an eye over them all. Here’s 10 of his best from 2017.

A number of f**k ups

Dr Mumbo assumed the proof reader at the Mumbai Mirror was still suffering a new year hangover after failing to spot this (rather obvious) expletive in its Date Night column.

That’s the trouble/beauty of print. Typos in the digital world only last for the time it takes one smarty pants reader to publicly, and normally disparagingly, alert you to the blunder.

Errors in print are not so easily erased.

Using JFK’s assassination to sell Mazdas? That won’t end well.

Just how this flawed idea got off the ground still has Dr Mumbo scratching his head.

“I’ve got it!”, one creative must have enthused, jumping to their feet, “let’s use the assassination of president Kennedy to flog more cars?”

At which point the idea – and the genius behind it – should have been shut down. But oh no, it was an idea which flew. Off a cliff one imagines.

The campaign was used to promote Mazda’s blind spot monitoring, with the slogan – “spot the threat in time” – the final insult. Extraordinarily ill-conceived.

Even if you live in a flooded village in the Philippines never fear, KFC still delivers

Stuck in a remote village where you’ve battled flood water on a daily basis for 20 years? Dr Mumbo can’t think of many better ways to ease the misery and hardship than with a bucketfull of chicken wings courtesy of KFC. Oh, wait, yes he can.

The idea, from Ogilvy Philippines, saw the KFC Amphibious Delivery take fast food to stricken villagers to help celebrate the birthday of one its inhabitants, Nanay Cora.

Exploitative and cynical marketing? Judge for yourselves. But Dr Mumbo doubts if KFC have ever been back to the village in question to check on the well being of the “grateful” recipients of their of their deep fried offering.

When Australians think about Asia

Attention to detail is not something that appears to overly bother Australian commercial TV network, Nine.

At least not when it comes to locating the Philippines on a map.

In a flash, AVA Singapore ad reveals the secret to “Fresh, Safe and Tasty” produce lies beneath the skirt

Just watch.

It’s the fella dressed as an egg who parts his Hawaiian skirt to reveal the phrase “Fresh, Safe and Tasty” that is particularly unsettling.

Want to attend a workshop by ex-Marketing Group boss Callum Laing? That will be $5K

Agglomeration. It’s a word those of you familiar with The Marketing Group may be familiar with. At least it’s a term that was associated with TMG until the new broom which swept through the company earlier this year also swept that particularly curious business model into the bin.

But members of the old guard, who presided over the most calamitous (and suspicious) rise and fall of a share price for many a long year, are still peddling their expert opinion to anyone who cares to listen. Actually, to anyone who cares to part company with $5,000 more accurately,

Under the phenomenally cheesy subject line ‘I’m loving angels instead’, Callum Laing was, as it turned out, not paying homage to Robbie Williams but keen to get in contact with angel investors keen to get their hands on pre-IPO stock.

Women writers: Don’t be too opinionated

Now listen little ladies, of course you can have an opinion – just keep it down a little. Not Dr Mumbo’s views, of course, but those of Singaporean blogger Jeraldine Phneah whose rather Victorian advice to women looking to build a following was “to adopt a conciliatory tone” and “not to sound overly opinionated”.

Phneah took to the Mumbrella comment thread to clarify exactly what she meant, but not before removing the ill-considered nature of the advice.

“When I made this statement, I was thinking of the sexism received often by female current affairs bloggers i.e. sexual harassment, being stalked online, gender-based insults. The risk we face makes it especially important for us to moderate our tone.

Is it fair? Not at all. But do I see it happen often? Absolutely. I thus recommended an open and empathetic approach to writing. It shows the audience that you understand their perspective, and is especially effective in engaging those who disagree, given the values typically held by women and Asians relative to others.

In retrospect, I can see why this can be taken the wrong way. I did not mean to cause any unnecessary offence which is why I took it down.”

YouGov investigates the burning issue of our time: Should you wear socks with sandals?

If there was an award for Meaningless Survey of the Year, this would take some beating. Worst use of Budget would also be within its grasp, Dr Mumbo thinks.

For the record, 65 per cent of Asia-Pacific folk say they enjoy mixing patterned socks with their open footwear. Fascinating.

Alibaba’s Jack Ma – Asia’s answer to David Brent, “chilled-out entertainer”?

A man of many talents. That’s not a reference to Dr Mumbo of course, although he does remembers being reasonable good at something once.

No, that description belongs to Alibaba’s Jack Ma, a man who could give David Brent a run for his money as king of chilled-out entertainers.

Brent, as Dr M reminded readers in November, was the excruciating boss of a paper merchant in UK TV series. The Office, set in the UK culture capital of Slough.

But while Brent’s cringe-inducing singing and dancing were the acts of a fictional character, Ma is very much real, with his repertoire extending to acting (see slip above), dancing and impressions.

And here, ladies and gentlemen, is the proof, of sorts.

Meet the ‘Mocca Latte Hipster’ rapper who became JWT Singapore’s head of digital

Sticking with entertainment, if indeed, that is the correct word, Dr Mumbo stumbled across another executive who has dabbled in the world of musical performance.

This time is was JWT Singapore’s Riku Vassinen who, six years ago, donned the appropriate garb and choreographed all the moves associated with a genre of music of which Dr M knows nowt – rapping.



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